Year in Review

January

Spring Creek Senior Partners’ Holiday Party

SCSP4BY PAMELA STERN

On Friday, December 16th Spring Creek Senior Partners held their annual holiday party at the Brooklyn Sports Club. “This happens to be one of the most popular and well-attended events, which keeps growing with each year,” said Theodora Ziongas, executive Director of Spring Creek Senior Partners, Inc. Joining the holiday celebration was nyS Senator Roxanne Persaud, who graciously and personally greeted the seniors who came to enjoy good company, great holidays treats, some fun raffles and of course some dancing.

Photo Credit: Spring Creek Senior Partners


Spring Creek Youth Symphony’s Instructors Perform for Community

MusicBY PAMELA STERN

On December 22, the Spring Creek Towers’ community was privy to a special holiday concert where the instructors of the Spring Creek Towers youth Symphony and PS 346 band performed in the Brooklyn Sports Club’s gymnasium.

Two special guests joined the instructors’ performance— Ian and Elliot Finkel. Ian and Elliot are the sons of actor, Fyvush Finkel known for his role in Picket Fences. Elliot is a renowned pianist, and Ian, is a musical arranger in addition to playing the xylophone. Photo Credit: Pamela Stern


Teen Central Sets the Stage

DSC_0648By Amanda Moses

It all starts with a beat—a pounding rhythm and melody that gets you moving. Whether you are dancing or singing, music is an art form that brings people together. Earlier this month, Spring Creek Teen Central decided to broaden their Teen Vision (TC Vision) Media Arts program by developing a dance and music initiative with professional artists from Apollo Theater.

Teen Central Director, Lonai Mosley, observed the members apt interest in music, which was often displayed by dancing and singing in the halls. Mosley wanted to help the teens cultivate their talents with a structured class, so she collaborated with Apollo Theater’s Teaching Artists in residency program.

Photo Credit: Amanda Moses


 

February 

FDA VIII Students Board the BioBus

IMG_0259By Amanda Moses and Pamela Stern

On January 31st, sixth, seventh and eighth grade science classes from Frederick Douglass Academy (FDA) VIII were treated to a most unusual experience—a visit onto a mobile laboratory housed in a 1974 transit bus known as the BioBus. Two biologists, Sascha Russel and Rob Frawley, greeted students warmly as the children peered at the bright yellow and blue bus with anticipation. “I’m a scientist and I work on the BioBus, but where do scientists normally work?” asked Russel. “In a laboratory,” the group of students responded quickly.

Founded in 2008, the BioBus is basically a mobile laboratory, said Russel. It was designed as an outreach program with the vision to inspire scientific exploration in children and gain an appreciation for science through positive interactions, learn from scientist role models and receive direct, hands-on experience in the process of scientific discovery. Finding themselves aboard the mobile lab, many of the students stared wide-eyed at the high-powered microscopes and high-definition computer screens, all powered by solar panels resting on top of the bus. In addition, the mobile lab is kept warm with an old fashioned, wood furnace.

Throughout the day, six groups of 30 students were given hands on instruction on collecting data, microscopic ecosystems, cells, and the scientific method from Russel and Frawley. Each class was divided into two groups: one section grabbed a clipboard to record their notes as they observed a Daphnia (a tiny crustacean).

Photo Credit: Amanda Moses


Spring Creek Afterschool Program’s Family Harvest Feast

FEBRUARY Afterschool HarvestBy Pamela Stern

The students the in the Spring Creek Afterschool Program took the time to learn what family values are during the holidays. They learned about how various cultures celebrate holidays and their customs.

On November 18th, the Spring Creek Afterschool program had a Family Harvest Feast from 4-6pm. There was a great turnout of approximately 50 parents, 85 students and a staff of 15, who came to enjoy and help out with the feast. Upon entering this grand feast the fourth grade and fifth grade students entertained everyone with some festive Latin/ Caribbean sounds.

Photo Credit: Spring Creek Afterschool Program


 

March 

Starrett Judo Club’s Tournament

March JUDOBy Pamela Stern

On January 15th, the Starrett Judo Club hosted a tournament at the Brooklyn Sports Club for those in the age group of five to twelve. Students were dressed and ready to compete in the tournament. Boy did they compete. In this tournament, each of the students who participated placed either first, second or third. This is a great accomplishment especially since there are a number of students who were competing for the first time.

Photo Credit: Pamela Stern and Parents of the Judo Students


Cooking in the Aquaponics Lab

DSC_0320By Amanda Moses

Every week, Garden Educator Jacqui Roytman holds a cooking class with students in the Spring Creek Afterschool Program. Sometimes they make homemade ingredients like butter and other times they cook up delicious chocolate desserts. For their latest lesson, Roytman taught her students how to make a quick and easy Greek dish—Gigantes Plaki. This recipe, which translates to “Baked Giant Beans,” uses the following ingredients: parsley, celery, oregano, sugar, salt, canned tomatoes, beans, dill, carrots, and cinnamon.

Roytman walked around the classroom handing out chopping boards, child-safe knives, and carrot peelers. “First we need to prepare the vegetables,” Roytman said. Each student was given a task, some were asked to peel the carrots’ outer layers, while others were asked to finely dice the parsley, garlic, celery, and dill.


SCSP Celebrates International Women’s Day and Social Workers Month

DSC_0425By Amanda Moses

Spring Creek Senior Partners (SCSP) celebrated International Women’s Day (March 8th) by honoring their hard-working social workers—women who have gone beyond the call of duty and have dedicated their time to helping seniors living in Spring Creek Towers (SCT)—during a brunch in the Brooklyn Sports Club’s café.

The event was an empowering affair because it was filled with strong, charismatic, and caring women trying to support and uplift each other. SCSP Director, Theodora Ziongas stood in front of the all-female attendees and said, “Women have many roles and they have to work two times harder at what they do. International Women’s Day is about unity, celebration, reflection and advocating globally and locally. In the words of Gloria Steinem: ‘The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist, nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.’”

Photos Credit: Amanda Moses


April

PS 346’s Black History Dance Assembly

3By Pamela Stern

On February 28th the first graders at PS 346 learned first – hand about Black History. Ms. Slaughter, dance teacher specialist at PS 346, put together an assembly that showcased the knowledge and talents of her first grade students for Black History Month. These students knocked you out with their ability to both learn about Black History month but also display what they learned through dances, songs, poems and even recited speeches.

PS 346’s Principal, Mr. Caifa suggested to Ms. Slaughter to put on a presentation for Black History Month. Ms. Slaughter’s first graders participated in the Black History Month Dance Assembly- African Dance in the Diaspora. Ms. Slaughter had assistance from the first grade teachers preparing the students for the assembly.

Photo Credit: Ms. T. Slaughter


 

Holocaust Remembrance Day

DSC_0761By Amanda Moses

Seventy-two years ago close to six million European Jews were killed by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany reign. April 23rd is Holocaust Remembrance Day, which was created to commemorate all of those who suffered during the systematic murder of Jews and other minority groups in Europe (Russian gypsies, homosexuals, disabled people and other groups were among those killed). In addition, this commemoration takes place around the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943.

The Holocaust lasted from 1933-1945, and during that time millions were placed in concentration camps, ghettos, and killed simply because they were Jewish or aiding Jews—these were people Hitler cruelly deemed as inferior to the Aryan (master) race. This horrific genocide has left an everlasting scar on history, and many of the survivors still bear the weight of their experiences all these years later.

Longtime Spring Creek Towers’ resident, Yakov Ryaboy, is one of the many Holocaust survivors who vividly remember what life was like in the 1940s. Ryaboy was born on August 29, 1935 in a ghetto within Berschad, Ukraine—just two years after Hitler began his systematic extermination of Jews. When reflecting on his past, the first thing Ryaboy remembers are the fences— sharp, barbwire fences surrounding his small town and living in constant fear.

Photos Credit: Amanda Moses


Students Show Off Their Musical Talents

21By Amanda Moses

On April 5th, Spring Creek Teen Central and the Spring Creek Afterschool Program culminated their collaboration with Apollo Theater’s Teaching Artists residency program through a grand performance in PS 346’s auditorium. Since the fall, both youth organizations cultivated their students’ musical talents with tutelage from Apollo Theater’s Teaching Artists.

The first presentation of the evening was a musical performance by three Teen Central members, Sara Fortunado, Angelique Davis and Sky-Lailonnie Owens. These students represented the more advance lessons in digital musical production taught to them by Oliver “Steff” Reed.

The teens wrote both the lyrics and melody, as well as produced the song, “Haven,” using advanced recording and tracking methods. Reed proudly watched his students show off all that they learned during their lessons, which were developed to help students “find the beat in your voice through digital music production and song writing.”

Photo Credit: Amanda Moses


 

Celebrating Easter with Hattitude

By Amanda Moses

On Thursday, April 13th District Leader Nikki Lucas and Congressman Hakeem Jefferies hosted a Pre-Easter Luncheon and Hat Pageant in the Brooklyn Sports Club’s (BSC) gymnasium. The event had an excellent turnout with over three hundred attendees, who gathered for the joyous event wearing hats of all shapes, colors and sizes. Pride emanated from Lucas as she gazed at the crowd of seniors, families, and other members of her Spring Creek Towers’ (SCT) community. “I am excited that I have the relationship that I have with this community,” Lucas, a longtime SCT resident, announced to the attendees.

Photo Credit: Amanda Moses


May

Members of Sisters with Purpose Win A Trip to the Ellen Show

May Ellen ShowBY Amanda Moses

Heartfelt dedication and continuous work running a food pantry earned two members of Sisters With Purpose Inc. (SWP) a free trip to the Ellen Show in Los Angeles. SWP President, Susie Williams, and Marketing Director, Tammi Rose Abrams, were discussing work when a camera crew from the Ellen Show knocked on Williams’ apartment door with the surprising news.

They were selected be to a part of the Ellen Show’s “Get Away NY To LA.” The theme was offered to East Coast contestants who expressed why they love the show, a brief summary about themselves and why Ellen should fly them out to be a part of her audience. In addition to the two SWP’s members receiving a free trip to LA, they were also given a $10,000 check from event sponsor, Capital One.

Photo Credit: Susie Williams


 

Learning is Fun at The Basketball Hall of Fame

May Basketball Hall of FameBy Pamela Stern

Students from the Spring Creek Afterschool Program and Teen Central took a trip during their spring recess from school to go to The Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The April 11th trip required that the students, parent chaperons, Spring Creek Afterschool Program and Teen Central staff meet at the Brooklyn Sports Club (BSC) at 6am. Twenty-four students took part in this fun trip. The trip wasn’t all fun because there were interactive lessons to learn as well. Students were excited and could not wait to get there and were well behaved on the three hour bus trip.

Photo Credit: Spring Creek Afterschool Program


 

The Work of A Survivor

Wilhelmina-Grant-headshot1By Amanda Moses

Cancer is a cruel, life changing disease. It takes over one’s life and is the cause of many ongoing struggles; however, Wilhelmina Grant has taken a more positive focus on her experience with breast cancer. She believes that breast cancer was the best thing that ever happened to her. Not in the sense that she wanted it, but that she channeled the ongoing physical and mental battle into ways to help others. Grant found that cancer enabled her to meet new and interesting people, visit a variety of places, fight to live life fully and tap into her artistic side. Her voyage inspired her to create assemblage art (using found objects as a visual showcase) and pen a memoir, “A Feeling of Fullness: Insights of a Divinely Guided Journey Beyond Breast Cancer.” Grant’s art and book are a brutally honest portrayal of her cancer diagnoses, treatment, a second breast cancer re-occurrence, remission and so much more.

Photo Credit: Wilhelmina Grant


 June

Understanding Life’s Impermanence Through Art

Understanding LifeBy Amanda Moses

Members of JASA Starrett Senior Center are enraptured by art— whether it is sketching inanimate objects found around their apartment, painting portraits in JASA’s art-based programs or passing the time by using adult coloring books.

These relaxing and fun-filled exercises are something the seniors look forward to during their visits. “We have these art programs because we want to broaden our seniors’ horizons,” said Angela Blyakher, JASA’s Director.

Photo Credit: Amanda Moses


 

Relieving Arthritis Pain With Tai Chi

Relieving Arthritis Pain With Tai ChiBy Amanda Moses

Arthritis is one of the most debilitating, life-changing diseases many adults face. It is an inflammation in the joints that causes constant pain and stiffness (which can worsen with age). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of adults suffering with arthritis state that it limits their daily activities and ability to perform work (25 percent of these individuals say it causes severe pain). In light of this common, yet painful, disease, Spring Creek Seniors Partners (SCSP) will be hosting a Tai Chi class every Monday and Wednesday at 3pm.

Photo Credit: Amanda Moses


 

Spring Creek Towers’ 2017 Scholarship Program Winners

By Pamela Stern

High school seniors and their families have a full agenda and are faced with many stressors during the final year of high school: SATs, ACTs, successfully completing the academic year, college choices and the financial challenges of college tuition.

The Spring Creek Towers (SCT) Scholarship Program, established in 1986, awards high school seniors residing in SCT college scholarships to ease some of the financial burden facing the graduates and their families.